Judge: Federal Indictment After Tribal Court Plea Is Not Double Jeopardy

Mealey's (July 25, 2016, 1:40 PM EDT) -- BILLINGS, Mont. — An Indian woman cannot avoid a federal manslaughter indictment based on double jeopardy due to a plea agreement she entered into in tribal court for the same crime because the tribe and the United States are separate sovereigns under U.S. Supreme Court precedents, a Montana federal judge ruled July 22 (United States of America v. Tawnya Bearcomesout, No. 16-13, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96117).

(Order available. Document #96-160812-015R.)

Tribal Court Plea

On Feb. 19, a grand jury in the U.S. District...
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